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Hong mei gui bai mei gui (1994)
Great adaptation of a great Chinese modern novel by Eileen Chang
I finished the novel, deeply moved and found the cinematic version, when I saw the cast, I thought Veronica Yip (Yuqing Ye) would be the red rose and Joan Chan the white rose, to my surprise, Veronica who's famed for her sexuality played the stone-cold white rose and played well! Joan Chan, a Shanghai native, played this tailor-made role and nailed it with grace.
Anyone who saw this movie are recommended to get the novel, Chinese or translation. Eileen's figures of speech are so imaginative, if you remember the scene where the white rose looked down at her belly button, look for the literary origin. To me, I've seldom read words like Eileen Chang's, her literatures bear so much of Shanghai in its peak of modernity, a time western culture collided traditional China, making Shanghai and her people both Confucian and chic. Aesthetics is only possible when distance is given, love is worth writing and crying for when love is not had, lost...
The cinematography is great too (sure, Christopher Doyle), reminds me of Kieslowski. The shots of close-up to close-up are well choreographed and elegant, unlike most 'cell phone or 5D Mark 2 movies'.
This adaptation didn't fail the novel, and did a good job, thanks.